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tv   [untitled]    May 28, 2011 2:00am-2:30am PDT

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then report differently from today's news? i'm here in ireland reading every paper just in case. i will move ahead. the lacies lived in cottage and palace. in 1848 dozens of families left cottage and the adjoining towns of pad ox, dogs town and palace. i find no mentions of evictions in the newspaper. 731 reported people the largest eviction of a town land in one day happened not 20 miles from cottage and palace in april of 1849. the story had one short paragraph about it in the paper. could it be that most evictions did not make it to the newspaper unless someone died? in the news of january 19th
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1848, judith was ejected off a small farm by the landlords james and john parker. she wandered in want without shelter and entered her former abode on the 18th of august last. for this forceable possession shes tried and sentenced to 6 months confinement which punishment of and died of natural causes. eventually i find mention of the easterly of conwell evicting tenants in the near by town land. september 13, 1848 the newspaper says on monday last the agent of lord kwanwell attended by sheriff, police and bailiff evicted 9 families in 50 souls from the town lands near by.
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nothing could be more disstressing than to hear the clanking of the embarrass of the cabins mingled with the shrieks of women and children. i switch from reading the newspapers to the books i find james lacy of the books of lectural district of the poor law union. the library has most of the electoral district books for the 1840's. they are beautiful leather bound books with copper writing and calligraphy. the spelling of each name is not consistent from year to year. i find lacy spelled as l. a. krfrment y. e l. aechlt c. e. y. the books show the records of james lacy up through 1847. there are other tenants on the
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books. hanly, boshg, ryan, kennedy,llower and hoge an. i examine the rate books people were paying. they paid a tax shillings to the pound. another indicate the tax is paid and another indicate the taxes in arrears. james lacy was paid in full and not in a rears. the tax in 1846 was cut in half from the previous year. the year 1847 shows something else. the people were taxed in may of 1847 and made to pay a 4 fold increase and in october of 1847, 15 times what they were paying in 1846. this amounted to a 900 percent increase in tax in less than a year. still james lacy was paid in
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full and not in arrears. i show the book to the librarian who knows i am reading papers to look for clearance notices and says, there's your answer now you know why they left. newspaper mentioned the establishment of insolvant commission. in commission states the tax afforded the clearance amongers the most effective means of getting rid of this agricultural population. some landlords were praised as humane for forgiving 3-4 year's rent or accepting what people could pay. these landlords were in the minority and the landlord of cottage where nie family lived was not among them. rate payer books for 1848 is missing. the book for 1849 is in worse condition than the earlier books. theate book for 1849 is torn and
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muddy and appears to have blood stains on the pages. as if this book is telling me what happened that awful year. i search for james lacy's name and find it gone along with the other tenant and it is town lands as well. [applause] >> i think on that note i will read a poem, which is my book among other things my quest to discover the family's connection or my connection to that history. and what happens there is the pursuit and the logical seeking after those signs. those material signs baptismal records and there is happenstance. that's what happened to me once when i went to ireland i staid at a b and b.
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there are a zillion every other house is a b and b. i hit on the one b and beshgs where the owner said, your last name is to bein i know where all the to beins came to ireland. i said, i'm all ears. this poem goes into that and the last part is a translation from an irish song, the ring. >> i followed the winding coast road back from cove airny moore and her brother cast in branz at the center entrance head of a line at elis island looking as though they a choired dreksz in their own country. dim passage through american wait and coffinship the figures of a prior generation real to swells and sound effects each swollen in the ache of crossing.
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my father's ship united states streaming to the harbor, the way it steamed in the narrows below the rising towers of the bridge. above the keys, saint coalmans resided over the dock where my mother's mother waited and my father's forefather disappeared like vermon in the fields they flooded home. i can tell you where the to beins first landed that invited me to the patio in the house glass of whisky regard in luminous in the long twilight. if you drive east on the way to gonegarvin off to the right you will come on the ring road where there are to beins from norman times. the name [inaudible] into our
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own name now. i had known history but not the place. so next day driving along the route each village seemed a station on the journey of return. kiely's cross i pursued the paper trail, unwound the breed of names through census and baptism each generation christening the last until it was language on the tongue and the trail trailed to the mists of the unrecorded. now i was tracing a highway to ore gin the potatoes struck black with blight. metals and we was their faces swollen with fever. stench rising from the evicted burrowed. men like dogs scoured the fields. i saw in one cottage a royal of
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rats feasting on an infant. no one where i witnessed anything like it not in calcutta. the voiceless children silenced by hunger the bodies burned at night leaving i don't trace. descending the drum hills i turned off the main road following signs and i language lost before i was born. this was land observe the land was renamed and hushed. what was left for me, generations gone. a purfume of smoke freshened my nostrils. pastures reached to the head of the bay. thick roads where locals greeted with slowly raised hands or a nod of a cap to my car the postcard my eye framed in it's longing. moony's pub where i stopped for a pint and slipped my quest.
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so, you are a to bein accomodating my english. they're all about here. she showed the photograph with dark hair and features unlike my own but a resemblance of an uncle. what was the ring happened on my chance or grace. why not trace through lost norman crests or track dna to tribes 6,000 years gone from the banks. or further back through each human cell to african eve her grunts are tuning savannahs. i felt the gift shared from the bones later that night in the crowded room when all the instruments had gone silent and a man rose up shyly alone and sang sean moss one of the singer's songs. beautiful country, i take you to
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by the black water screens of the beast the thrush and the black bird sings sweetly and the wild deer over the mountains branches with fruits and blossom the and hives with honey. and the corn creek lifts it's cries in the grass. [applause] >> your poem has a sense of place and you mentioned earlier the sensation of going to canada and what it felt like to be in that place in canada and in other opportunities to be in that land in ireland. i wonder if you can reflect and margaret as well, what were the physical experiences you were having and what was the importance ever going to the place by way of informing your story? >> i don't know if anybody seen
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there is a series on now on called african-american lives? >> yeah. >> and it remindses me so much of my experience and some of the things that were said that rang through for me are things like, if we don't know where we come from we don't know that we are somebody. it's like, the effects of colonization when -- when our story is taken from us. in when our language is taken and we are disoriented and we come to a new country, we are not literate, it's a way to keep people oppressed. so, part of reclaiming ourselves as irish americans and having the biggest life possible means
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knowing everything there is to know about ourselves and our people. >> i will talk briefly about the going to saint john i set that trip up and 911 happened. and so i endsed up going on this journey back to where 3450i family came over a week after 911 which was a remarkable experience in itself because the airports were empty much everybody was gone. until we got to canada where there was a crush of people moving through with added security and so forth. when i got to saint johns i went to the perish rejist ree. met the woman i spoke with on the phone and she gave me complete access to the archives. ship lists and when they came over 1550 or 1851. there was no marriage record.
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they probably got married on the boat which happened often. that's where i found out that the trade with the merry times and county cork was a lumber trade. they brought lumber over and humans were brought back. profound history that, you know, my ancestors were a part of. not just mine bithousands and millions of people have this story deep in their background. i also found out the location of where my great, great grandfather was buried in saint johns which is ruinned by acid rain because they built a refinary over it. this is an irish american grave
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yard a memorial to the experience of coming over her in famine times partridge islands is where they had to go through. i stood about where the plot was which was a mass grave. there was no marker at all. they were buried together with the other poor in a little area. to be standing there in the space where your great, great grandfather was and other members of your family and have no marker they are the grass. they are the grass underneath your feet or their bodies are. that is a humbling experience. we are part of a remnant if we think we are not we are diluting ourselves that genealogy searchs should humble you.
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because it's only traces left. there are only signs left. those signs are not empty. you know, they transsubstantiate the lines that were that were there that were gone and yet are somehow encoded in us. >> thank you.
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. >> on march 5th, 2007, a car bomb was exploded on mutanabbi street in baghdad. mutanabbi street is a mixed shia-suni area. more than 30 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded. this locale is the historic center of baghdad book selling, a winding street filled with bookstores and outdoor book stalls. named after the famous 10th century classic poet, al-mutanabbi, this is an old
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and established street for book selling and has been for hundreds of years. mutanabbi street also holds cafes, stationary shops, and even tea and tobacco shops. it has been the heart and soul of the baghdad literary and intellectual community. this tragedy is part of a wider and continuing tragedy, but one that we want to isolate and address, not only for the loss of lives but also for the implications underlying the destruction of a street where books were sold. book selling on mutanabbi street is no different from book selling here. we traffic in memory, ideas and dreams. in that sense, we feel that mutanabbi street starts at the front door of all of our book shops. mutanabbi street starts here.
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our first reader will be sinan anton. >> when i was torn by war, i took a brush immersed in death, and drew a window on war's wall. i opened it, searching for something, but all i saw was another war and a mother weaving a shroud for the dead man still in her womb. there was a photograph of an iraqi boy on the front page of the "new york times". he sat on the edge of the truck, 8 or 9 years old, surrounded by his family, his father, mother , and 5 siblings were asleep. his head was buried in his
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hands. all the clouds of the world were waiting on the threshold of his eyes. the tall man wiped off the sweat and started digging the 7th grave. the next reader is going to be diane dupris. thank you. >> i'm going to read a few things that i wrote sitting in a hotel room in, oh, whatever year that was, 01, i guess, when we started bombing afghanistan. these are short poems on the afghan war. 1, small bones of mountain children in the snow. two, bags of rice burst open, burlap flaps in the wind.
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even the label, usa, is fading. three, we air drop transistor radios. can you eat them? will they keep you warm? this one is called les american, october 5, 2001. we are feral, rare as mountain wolves. our hearts are pure and stupid. we go down, pitted against our own. there's one other short thing. we gathered there frequently, old scholars, printers, book collectors, old and young writers pass through the place on any given afternoon. all kinds of activity came to the shop in the years i worked there. they were the early years of
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the black awareness, robert williams was active in south carolina. there was a period of time when the cot in the back of the store was a drop off for various disassembled armaments. sometimes someone we didn't know would put something under the mattress, making the cot unusable for several days. someone would come by and take the hardware away in a shopping bag and that would be it for a week or so. there was often a black photographer who would come to the shop with an empty shopping bag. when he left, he with leave in a zigzag and eventually get on a bus going south. >> i wanted to read a poem that was sent by the poet that i invited to the recent san
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francisco international poetry festival from iraq i've been in touch with for more than a year and a half. after the united states would not give him his visa, i asked him -- i told him about mutanabbi street and he wrote a poem and he wrote it in english, though he writes in, of course, in arabic. but this one he wrote in english. so i'll read it. one figure in the poem you should know, humbaba, which is an ogre, a monster of immemorial age. that was a special big garden, a forest, where all types of trees and flowers grew. the trees bending down gently flinging branches. our orchard grew like a crown
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on the sun's eyebrow. where did humbaba come from? his mother was just a cave, his father unknown. who made him a friend pretending guardian of the orchard. did those nice shrubs need fear to go begging for a garden and have humbaba in his treachery ilk. those plants and flowers were like books everyone could read, not cut and throw away. their different fantastic colors had formed our blood so our veins ran smoothly, our 7 wonders showed. then humbaba made a whirlwind of fire and snow. who crowned him king? who showed him our garden was but a jail? humbaba was great and scary, but not so very strong, though no one could ever conquer him
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as no one would ever try. time and again, when things grew old, humbaba alone believed himself eternal and young, still powerful, able to defeat all. humbaba didn't want to know one fact: that accumulation will lead to eruptive change. but, sadly, when suddenly he realized it after all, he chose to check its power on all, the tall. he crushed all the shrubs and plants leaving them creeping and broken all over. he damaged the flowers and colors, the flowers withered, their leaves all burned and soon they were throwing their seeds every which way and when the whole orchard changed into a dry, gray waste, humbaba, his mind like stone, shouted his
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horrible cry of fire and burned all that gray and yellow, birds of all kinds were flying away with ashes in their beaks which humbaba couldn't oversee any more or ever set on fire. then, grandfather ended his day and continued closing his big thick yellow book, turning to his grandsons and daughters and anding them a big red bud, then bidding them good night and laying his head on his yawning book, he glances solemnly at the full moon in the core of the sky, his eyelids blinking once, searching for that big, silvery rose. the next reader is dima shahabi >> i'd like to move on with an iraqi poet, one of the most
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prominent and brilliant poets of her time recently passed away in cairo, in june, actually. she was not only a poet, she was luminous and free-thinking pioneer in establishing the theory of what has come to be known as free verse in arabic poetry. in addition to her extensive laments on oppression of women and melancholy. she left. no cheek turned pale, no lip trembled. the door did not hear the story of her death. no window curtain overflowed with sorrow and gloom to follow the tomb until it disappeared.
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the moon lamenting its depression. the night surrendered itself without worry to the morning. the lights brought the voice of the milk girls, the fasting and the moaning of a starved cat of which nothing remained except bone. the fussing of salesmen, the struggle of life, kids threw stones at one another in the middle of the road while dirty water flooded the avenue and the wind toyed with gates and roof tops, alone in a state of semi oblivion. . >> on the day al-matarazzo street was bombed, did you notice how quickly it folded in itself? or